‘Young entrepreneur of the year’ melds e-commerce jewellery sales with a good cause

    What were you doing when you were 14 years old? I’ll bet you weren’t running an e-commerce business that split its profits with a charity funding women’s education.

    If you had a job at all, maybe it was bagging groceries or flipping burgers. But not Linda Maziaris, the founder of Body Bijou jewellery. She’s running a business that ships out hand-crafted jewellery items thanks to a slick web storefront. The entrepreneurial streak apparently runs in the family, as sister Susanna founded GirlsHelpingGirls, a charity with a mission to help improve girls education around the world by providing a safe learning environment. Naturally the two are working together, with half the proceeds made on Body Bijou going towards GirlsHelpingGirls.

    It’s no wonder Linda is being awarded as young entrepreneur of the year by Startup Canada. Hit play on the video above to hear more about what she’s doing with her e-commerce business for good.

    Here’s a complete list of the winners for Startup Canada’s 2014 awards, which saw 3,500 voters help a panel of judges decide the outcome:

    • Startup effect award: Startup Festival
    • Post-secondary institution: University of New Brunswick
    • Startup community: Startup Calgary
    • Anchor company: Microsoft Canada
    • Incubator: TEC Edmonton
    • Accelerator: Wavefront
    • Professional services: Ernst and Young Canada
    • Government organization: Build in Canada
    • Non profit organization: MaRS Discovery District
    • Entrepreneur eco-system builder: Chris Johnson, Startup Winnipeg
    • Mentor: Sean Wise
    • Investor: Randy Thomson
    • Educator: Mary Kilfoil
    • Media person: Rick Spence
    • Young entrepreneur: Linda Manzearous
    • Lifetime achievement award: Gerry Pond